| Dialysis | Kidney disease | Transplant

Healthy Kidneys, Happy Thanksgiving: 5 Delicious Recipes to Try

November 17, 2023, 7:44am EST

A family of three at thanksgiving table

This year indulge in a Thanksgiving meal that prioritizes your kidney health without sacrificing taste. Here are kidney disease, dialysis, and transplant-friendly recipes to help you do just that.

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  1. Cucumbers with Horseradish Dill Dip
  2. Minestrone Soup
  3. Crispy Tofu Veggie Sandwich
  4. Couscous Salad with Tangy Dressing
  5. Apple Almond Galette

1. Cucumbers with Horseradish Dill Dip

Cucumbers with horseradish dill dip

This low-sodium dip is a bold combination of horseradish and dill with a hint of spiciness from cayenne pepper. The creamy tofu paired with the tangy notes of Dijon mustard and lemon juice create a rich and flavorful sauce that will satisfy your need to snack without filling you up.

Serving size: 2 oz 


  • 1½ tsp shallots, minced
  • 1½ tsp dried dill
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • 8 oz tofu, extra firm, drained and crumbled
  • 2 tsp horseradish, creamy style
  • Pinch of dry mustard
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup rice milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Mirin sweet rice wine
  • ⅛ tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp white cider vinegar
  • 2 English cucumbers
  • Fresh dill sprigs for garnish (2 tablespoons)


  1. Mix all ingredients except the cucumbers in a food processor.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Slice cucumbers, serve with dip spooned over the top, and garnish with fresh dill sprigs.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

2. Minestrone Soup

Bowl of minestrone soup on a cutting board

Thanksgiving calls for warm and comforting dishes. This low-carb minestrone soup fits the bill perfectly. Its rich, savory broth and hearty ingredients provide a cozy and inviting start to your feast.

Serving size: 1 cup


  • 14-ounce diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1½ cup elbow-shaped macaroni, dry
  • 4 cup chicken broth, low fat, low sodium
  • 1 tsp ground black Pepper
  • 1 tsp dried leaves oregano 
  • 1 tsp dried leaves basil
  • ½ cup, chopped zucchini
  • 1 large carrots
  • 2 large celery stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ large onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can green snap beans, no salt added


  1. Dice onion, garlic, and zucchini. Shred the carrot. Rinse the canned green beans or use 1 ½ cups fresh beans cut into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add onions and cook for two to three minutes until translucent.
  3. Add garlic, celery, carrot, and zucchini. (Add green beans if using fresh). Cook for about five minutes until the vegetables soften.
  4. Add canned green beans, basil, oregano, and black pepper.
  5. Add 1 can of diced no-salt tomatoes and chicken broth.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add pasta and cook for eight to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
  8. Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil. Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

3. Crispy Tofu Veggie Sandwich

Crispy Tofu Veggie Sandwich

Turkey is a more traditional Thanksgiving food, but this crispy tofu sandwich has less protein, phosphorus, and potassium. It also tastes just as good.

Serving size: One whole sandwich, including two slices of bread


  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 4 oz extra-firm or firm tofu, drained and sliced into thin slices (approximately ¼-inch thick) (May substitute for a soy-free alternative such as pumpkin seed “tofu” or chickpea “tofu”)
  • 2 slices low-sodium whole wheat bread
  • 2 tbsp hummus (For another level of flavor, try pumpkin pepper hummus as your hummus spreads.)
  • ½ small sliced cucumber 
  • 1 slice tomato (approximately ¼” thick)
  • ¼ cup fresh spinach (May substitute other greens instead of spinach. Try arugula for a peppery bite, or butter lettuce for a soft and bright addition.)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable broth, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and liquid smoke.
  2. Place tofu slices in a sealed container and pour broth mixture over tofu. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Lay out marinated tofu slices on the baking sheet.
  4. About 10 to 15 minutes into baking time, flip tofu slices over and baste with some of the remaining marinade. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges are crispy.
  5. Remove tofu from the oven and let it cool.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the sandwich by spreading hummus across the bread slices. Layer cucumber slices, then tomato slices, then spinach.
  7. When tofu is cool to the touch, add tofu slices on top of spinach and top with the other slice of bread with hummus, hummus side down.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

4. Couscous Salad with Tangy Dressing

Couscous Salad with Tangy Dressing

Elevate your Thanksgiving feast with this vibrant and refreshing salad. This vegetarian dish brings color and zesty flavors to your holiday table. 

Serving size: ½ cup


  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup, whole sugar snap peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 large cucumbers, peeled
  • 1 cup couscous, dry


  1. Prepare couscous according to the package. Chill.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together chilled couscous, cucumbers, red pepper, yellow pepper, carrots, snow peas, and corn.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, allspice, dried oregano, minced garlic, and olive oil.
  4. Combine and serve chilled.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

5. Apple Almond Galette

Apple almond galette pie on a table with almonds and apple half nearby

This rustic, aromatic pastry is the perfect way to round off your Thanksgiving meal. Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, or warm apple cider. 

Serving size: 1 slice


  • 4 baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 9 individual Stevia packets
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 store-bought 9" layer pie crust


  1. Over medium-low heat, cook butter, apples, cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar for five to 10 minutes; until the apples become soft.
  2. Turn off the heat and stir in the Stevia and the almond extract.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  4. Roll out the pie crust onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Pour the apple mixture into the middle of the pie crust.
  6. Fold the pie crust over the apples about 3", leaving the center uncovered.
  7. Pinch the creases together and bake for 30 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

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